Summer/Fall  2000
Volume 5 Number 1


Theology Today Web Site Is a Winner!

Theology Today’s web site ( won the APEX 2000 Grand Award for Publication Excellence given by Communications Concepts, a company that specializes in communications for businesses and nonprofits.

The site was noted as a "fast-opening, top-quality site with crystal-clear navigation and attractive design" and given high marks for "great archive organization and simplicity in execution and ease of use."

If you haven’t visited, you’re missing an excellent publications web site!


Greetings from the Kirk

The Rev. John Ballantyne Cairns, moderator of the Church of Scotland in The Rev. John Ballantyne Cairns 1999–2000, visited Princeton Seminary in April to preach and to bring greetings to the Seminary community from across the sea. He was on a worldwide trip that took him to Kenya, Uganda, Senegal, South Africa, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Kosovo, and Europe, where he attended a human rights conference in Strasbourg, France. He told Princeton students and faculty that he is hopeful about the church’s mission, and that even though his own denomination is "desperately short of ministers, that may do the church a lot of good!" The urbane Cairns, in addition to serving his church as moderator, is an attorney and manages the Church of Scotland’s golf team.

Raising Funds for Seminaries

Raising Funds for SeminariesIn May, eighty PCUSA Theological Education Fund (TEF) Resource Persons gathered at Princeton Seminary for three days to experience what it’s like to be in seminary. The elders and ministers, volunteers who represent presbyteries around the country, attended lectures by professors Stacy Johnson and Ellen Charry, interacted with a panel of students, and heard from President Gillespie. The TEF reps are elected to help raise money from local congregations for theological education. The funds raised (a total of $955,836 through the first half of 2000) are divided among the ten Presbyterian theological seminaries and the two seminaries in covenant with the PCUSA according to a formula approved by the General Assembly.

Alumni/ae Events Fall 2000

Sunday, October 15
Spartanburg, South Carolina—President Gillespie preaching at The First Presbyterian Church
Sunday, October 29
Winston Salem, North Carolina—President Gillespie preaching at the First Presbyterian Church
Monday, October 30
Greensboro, North Carolina—Breakfast gathering with President Gillespie from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
Monday, October 30
Durham, North Carolina—Luncheon gathering with President Gillespie from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Monday, November 6
Atlanta, Georgia—Luncheon gathering at the First Presbyterian Church, Atlanta, with President Gillespie from noon to 2:00 p.m.
For further information or to make reservations, call Dean Foose at 609-497-7785 or email him at [email protected].



PTS Corner of History: Princeton and Presidential Politics

InSpire readers might be interested to know, in this year of presidential politics, that the fathers of two presidents of the United States are alumni of Princeton Theological Seminary. The Reverend Richard F. Cleveland, Class of 1829, was pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Caldwell, New Jersey, in 1837 when his son, Grover, was born in the church’s manse. Grover Cleveland was elected president of the United States in 1884 and again in 1892. He is the only president to have been reelected after being defeated. When he left the White House in 1897, he retired to Princeton where he commanded a senior statesman position until his death in 1908. He and his family owned a pew in the First Presbyterian Church (now Nassau Presbyterian Church), and the silver plaque bearing his name is still on the pew.

Grover Cleveland and his wife were frequent dinner guests of Professor and Mrs. John D. Davis, who lived in the old Alexander house, currently the home of Professor Patrick Miller and his wife, Mary Ann. The bell tower at the Graduate College is a memorial to Cleveland, and the manse of the Presbyteriaclevland.gif (67584 bytes)n Church of Caldwell is now maintained as the Cleveland Memorial Home. Cleveland is buried in the Princeton Cemetery near his friend Professor Benjamin B. Warfield. Cleveland’s widow lived in her home on Cleveland Lane in Princeton until her death in the late 1940s, during which time she made a custom of inviting seminarians to her home for Sunday evening supper following the evening service at the First Presbyterian Church.

The Reverend Joseph R. Wilson, Class of 1848, was the pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Staunton, Virginia, in 1856 when his son, Woodrow, was born in the manse. That son later became a professor and then president of Princeton University, governor of New Jersey, and president of the United States in 1912, an office he held until 1921.

A devout Presbyterian elder, Woodrow Wilson and his family, like the Clevelands, owned a pew in the First Presbyterian Church of Princeton, and that pew, too, is still marked with a silver plate bearing his name. The Wilsons lived near the Seminary on Library wilson.gif (50184 bytes)Place, just a few doors beyond Stockton Street. They were very friendly with several Seminary faculty families; Mrs. Wilson and Mrs. Warfield were particularly good friends and exchanged notes, which survive. Mrs. Wilson’s last call in Princeton prior to moving to the White House was on the ill wife of Princeton professor William Benton Greene.

The manse of the Presbyterian Church of Staunton, Virginia, has been made into the Woodrow Wilson Birthplace and Museum. During his presidency, Wilson was an active member of Central Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C. He is buried at the National Cathedral in Washington. —William Harris, librarian for archives and special collections


Faculty and Staff Accolades

9_Blount.jpg (9283 bytes)Brian K. Blount, associate professor of New Testament, participated in the Discipleship and Ministry Conference 2000 hosted by Elmwood United Presbyterian Church in East Orange, New Jersey, and the Office of Black Congregational Enhancement. The conference, titled "Empowering, Educating, and Equipping People for Spiritual Leadership," was led by black church scholars and leaders from New Jersey and New York.
allen.jpg (8878 bytes)"Design and Its Critics," an international conference held in June at the Cranach Institute of Concordia University in Wisconsin, featured Diogenes Allen, PTS’s Stuart Professor of Philosphy. Allen and scholars from Canada, Europe, and the United States debated the evidence for intelligent design in the universe from the perspective of science, philosophy, and theology.
Sheila and Steve Cardone, PTS’s director of housing and auxiliary services, welcomed their daughter, Katie, into the world on April 26, 2000.
James Charlesworth, the George L. Collord Professor of New Testament Language and Literature, has been elected to The Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters. He is also the chairman of Jesus 2000, which sponsored the Jesus and Archaeology symposium August 7–10, 2000, in Notre Dame, Jerusalem.
Nancy Duff, associate professor of theological ethics, was featured on the PBS television program "Religion and Ethics" on Sunday, May 7. Discussing the program’s topic, the church and homosexuality, Duff spoke with New York Times religion editor and PBS correspondent Peter Steinfels. The interview was filmed on the PTS campus.
The 2000 baccalaureate address at Lafayette College was delivered by Peter J. Paris, PTS’s Elmer G. Homrighausen Professor of Christian Social Ethics, who also received the honorary Doctor of Divinity degree at the Pennsylvania school’s 165th commencement.
Professor of theology and culture Mark Taylor joined with the Reverend Jesse Jackson and other opponents of capital punishment at Philadelphia’s First Reformed Church as part of several rallies and protests during the Republican National Convention, also held in Philadelphia in July. Among the topics of discussion led by Taylor and Jackson were the death penalty’s place in a democratic society and the call for a new trial for death row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal.
Sarah Tineke was born to Sharilyn and Martin Tel, PTS’s C. F. Seabrook Director of Music, on April 26, 2000.
The Odyssey Network’s television program "Thirty Good Minutes" will feature Leonora Tubbs Tisdale, PTS’s Elizabeth M. Engle Associate Professor of Preaching and Worship, in an upcoming episode. The program, sponsored by the Chicago Sunday Evening Club, has historically broadcasted sermons by America’s most influential preachers.
Orly Marie was born to Andy and Amy Vaughn, the Institute for Youth Ministry’s director of leadership, on March 1, 2000.
Twin girls, Naomi and Claire, were born to Ronda and J. Ross Wagner, assistant professor of New Testament, on April 16, 2000.
A second Ph.D., this one from the Claremont School of Theology, was awarded to Janet L. Weathers, assistant professor of speech communication in ministry, at Claremont’s 2000 commencement exercises. Weathers, whose dissertation was titled "Spirit, Self-Identity, and Communication: Implications for the Multiple Forms of Education in Christian Communities of Faith," also received the school’s President’s Award for Academic Excellence. Weathers received her first Ph.D. from the University of Southern California in 1979.


Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon, pictured (above left) with her friend and PTS Class of 2000 alumna Regina Langley, was PTS’s Women in Church and Ministry lecturer in April. Johnson Reagon is Distinguished Professor of History at American University, an activist, a musician, and the founder of Sweet Honey in the Rock. She charmed her audience by singing within her lecture, and challenged them to remember their history as women, including its hard lessons.


Ten Years and Counting!

The Hispanic Leadership Development and Enhancement Program celebrated its tenth anniversary at Princeton Seminary in May. The program is a coordinated effort of the PCUSA General Assembly, the Synod of the Northeast, various presbyteries in New Jersey, the Presbytery of New York City, and Princeton Seminary. More than 250 people heard the Rev. Dr. Samuel Pagan, the keynote speaker, president of the Evangelical Seminary of Puerto Rico, and a PTS alum. Pagan presented the theological implications of the sixth chapter of Isaiah for the church at large and particularly in the Hispanic/Latino context. President Gillespie and dean of continuing education Joyce Tucker were present to offer congratulations and encouragement to the participants at Congreguemonos X.

The afternoon included worship with three choirs, preaching by Pagan, celebration of the Lord’s Supper, and the graduation of three students who had fulfilled the requirements of the program. Congreguemonos X is one example of the opportunity Princeton Seminary has to expand its efforts in nurturing the leadership of the fastest-growing ethnic population in the country.

Organ Colloquium at PTS


From February 4–6, 2001, the Seminary will host an organ colloquium titled "The Organ in Christian Worship." The colloquium, cosponsored by the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, will celebrate Miller Chapel’s new Joe R. Engle Organ built by Paul Fritts & Co. Organbuilders. Worshipful music will be singing from its pipes in the Seminary’s newly renovated chapel for years to come.

Martin Tel, PTS’s C.F. Seabrook Director of Music, looks forward to this interdisciplinary gathering of pastors and musicians: "This event is unique because though it is a celebration of the new organ, it celebrates the organ not as an end in itself, but rather the organ’s function in worship." The colloquium will also aim to "honestly assess the relationship between the organ and Christian worship today and how this relationship will continue to play out in the future."

For more information, call the Chapel Office at 609-497-7890.



From Korea with Love

Dean Foose with members of So-Mang Presbyterian church

When worshippers in Miller Chapel hear the new Steinway grand piano that will grace the chapel sanctuary, they will have the congregation and the pastor of So-Mang Presbyterian Church in Seoul, Korea, to thank. Dr. Sun Hee Kwak, pastor of the 30,000-member congregation and a PTS graduate who was named Distinguished Alumnus in 1996, and his church contributed the more than $52,000 needed to purchase the seven-foot Steinway as part of the Miller Chapel Restoration Project. The piano will be dedicated at a special service  and concert in early 2001.

Also this spring the PTS Korean American alumni/ae of PTS pledged a donation of $15,000 for the coat room of the chapel during a dinner meeting of the group in New York City. Pictured above are (left to right) Timothy Son (‘90B, ‘91M), director of alumni/ae relations Dean E. Foose, PTS trustee Young Pai, Constance Pak (‘92B, ‘94M), and Byeung-Ho Choi (‘92M).

PTS Honors Ministry of Bryant Kirkland

At its May meeting, the Seminary’s Board of Trustees endorsed the establishment of an endowment for a new faculty position in honor of alumnus and former board chairman Bryant M. Kirkland, who died April 23, 2000. The board set a goal of $2 million for the Bryant M. Kirkland Minister of the Chapel and Professor of Common Worship endowment, noting that "worship had been the heart and soul of the ministries of Dr. Kirkland, and it is very fitting to endow this position in his memory."

Kirkland was senior minister of The Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City from 1962 to 1987. He also served churches in Narberth, Pennsylvania; Willow Grove, Pennsylvania; Haddonfield, New Jersey; and Tulsa, Oklahoma. In addition to serving as chair of the Seminary’s board, he was a past president and CEO of The American Bible Society and vice president of the John Templeton Foundation. Kirkland authored several books including Home before Dark and A Pattern for Faith.

Friends, alumni/ae, and churches interested in contributing may send gifts to the Seminary designated for the Kirkland endowment.

PTS Campus Hosts Institute for Youth Ministry Forum

More than 160 lay and ordained ministers from all over the United States and Canada gathered on the Seminary campus in April for the 2000 Princeton Forum on Youth Ministry. Representing many denominations, participants attended lectures and seminars offered by scholars and church leaders who explored the forum’s theme: "Life Together: Practicing Faith with Adolescents." Dorothy Bass, director of the Valparaiso Project on the Education and Formation of People in Faith, and L. Gregory Jones, dean of the Divinity School at Duke University, were lecturers. Roland Martinson, professor of pastoral theology at Luther Seminary, was the conference preacher.

Forum participant Blake Benge, a youth minister at Second Ponce de Leon Baptist Church in Atlanta, appreciated the way the topics were presented. "I enjoyed the slower pace—the more cerebral approach. PTS is giving appropriate dignity to youth ministry, something the church is in need of," he said. Robin Pippin, who edits Devo’zine, a publication targeting teenagers, said, "The forum took seriously the profession of youth ministry. The focus on spiritual practices like contemplative prayer and the sacraments as transformative aspects of Christian life is aimed at teaching ministers to help teens form their identity within the church."

The 2001 Forums on Youth Ministry are scheduled for January 8–11 in San Antonio, Texas, and April 30–May 3 in Princeton. For more information, visit

Class of 1961 Alumna Remembered

Nancy Harris, one of only three female graduates in the B.D. (M.Div.) Class of 1961, died on July 5, 1999. Her service to God was a lifelong commitment to the church as well as to the Princeton Seminary community. Even in death, her relationship to her beloved alma mater is evident. Harris bequeathed a gift of $1,000,000 for the endowment of a scholarship in honor of her class.

Following graduation from PTS, Harris was asked by then-Seminary president James McCord to administer the Seminary’s sesquicentennial celebration. She worked on that project with former PCUSA stated clerk James Andrews, who remembers her as "a friend who made a career out of keeping people working together." In succeeding years she served as the executive secretary of St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral in Seattle, Washington, and dean of the School of Theology for the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia. She retired in 1993 and invested a great deal of time and care in her longtime avocation in miniatures and doll houses. She was a partner in a miniatures business in Seattle until her death.


First Female Th.B. Graduate Dies at 94


In February the Seminary community lost one of its most beloved graduates. The death of Muriel Joy Van Orden Jennings marked an occasion to remember both her ground-breaking achievement as the first woman to graduate from PTS in the Th.B. (M.Div.) program and her more than eighty years of ministry.

Jennings was born in 1905 in Clinton, New Jersey, to Robert and Sarah Fox Van Orden. Following employment opportunities throughout the Northeast, the young family relocated thirteen times before Jennings was sixteen years old. In Springfield, Massachusetts, which was as much the family’s hometown as any other city, Jennings began a teaching ministry with the children of her mother’s adult Bible class participants. The opportunity gave Jennings her first experience with what would become a lifelong passion—teaching young people about God’s role in their lives.

After graduation from Central High School in Springfield, Jennings attended Radcliffe College, earning an A.B. She returned to New Jersey in 1928 to pursue a theological education at Princeton Seminary. While the Seminary taught some female students, the school’s charter specifically outlawed the granting of degrees to women; wives of male students occasionally audited courses, but never received credit for the work.

Determined to have her education validated by a degree, Jennings received permission from the faculty and trustees to enroll full time under the conditions that she "did not disturb the men, that she carried a full schedule of courses, and that her grades matched those of the men." She did not receive a guarantee that her work would result in the Th.B., the equivalent of today’s M.Div. After three years, Jennings had completed all degree requirements and ranked third academically in her class, but, largely because of the opposition of one professor, she was not granted a degree.

Undeterred, Jennings enrolled in the Th.M. program in 1931. That year the professor who opposed her graduation died, and after she completed the requirements for her second master’s, the Seminary awarded her the Th.B. and the Th.M. simultaneously in 1932.

While at Princeton, Jennings met her future husband, fellow student Harvey L. Jennings. They married in 1932 and together served congregations in Frenchtown and Carney’s Point, New Jersey, and Peckville, Pennsylvania. While her husband served as pastor, Mrs. Jennings led Bible studies for adults and youth. Following his death in 1973, Mrs. Jennings continued to teach congregations in several Maine towns.

Throughout their ministry the Jenningses directed much of their energy to youth. Mrs. Jennings had been interested in youth ministry for several years, and after taking a group of young people to Pennsylvania’s Montrose Bible Conference in 1933, she concentrated her ministry on youth. She became a director of the youth-oriented conference in 1940 and served in that position until 1966. She remained active with the conference well beyond her years as a director and at age seventy-six was honored for fifty years of service at Montrose.

PTS honored Jennings with its Distinguished Alumna Award in 1982.



New Faculty Appointments and Promotions

Three new scholars were appointed to the Seminary faculty at the May meeting of the Board of Trustees.

Dr. Richard Fox Young, who has been professor of South Asian studies on the Faculty of International Studies of Meiji Gakuin University in Tokyo, Japan, since 1993, is PTS’s new associate professor of the history of religions, assigned to the Elmer K. and Ethel R. Timby Chair, effective July 1.

Dr. Milan Opocenský will be the John A. Mackay Professor of World Christianity for the 2000–2001 academic year. A native of the Czech Republic, he formerly served as general secretary of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches and taught social ethics at the Comenius Faculty of Protestant Theology in Prague.

  Dr. Dana R. Wright, a 1999 Ph.D. graduate of PTS, will be assistant professor of Christian education for a single three-year term effective July 1, 2000 through June 30, 2003.


In other board actions, three members of the faculty were promoted, effective July 1: Dr. Dennis T. Olson, in Old Testament, to the rank of full professor and Drs. Robert C. Dykstra and Deborah van Deusen Hunsinger, both in pastoral theology, to the rank of associate professor with tenure.

Faculty and Staff Publications

Jesus: A Psychological Biography, by Donald Capps, has been published by Chalice Press.

Ellen Charry has authored Inquiring After God, which is published by Blackwell Publishers.

George Hunsinger’s lastest offering, Disruptive Grace: Studies in the Theology of Karl Barth, is published by William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

Leonora Tubbs Tisdale is the editor of Abingdon’s Women’s Preaching Annual: Series 2, Year C.

Womanist Scholar Delivers Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture

Katie G. Cannon, associate professor in the Department of Religion at Temple University, delivered the second Martin Katie G. Cannon and Dr. Peter Paris Luther King Jr. Lecture at PTS in April. Her lecture, titled "Out of the Shadows of Death: Representations of Womanist Homiletical Praxis in the Sacred Rhetoric of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.," dealt primarily with her assertion that King as preacher changed the status of African Americans from "nothingness to the description of what it means to be American." Cannon noted that King’s preaching erases negative perceptions of African Americans by promoting the integrity it takes to struggle out of white hatred.

Cannon was introduced by Professor Peter J. Paris, who informed the audience that not only was the lecturer a sixth-generation Presbyterian, she was the first African American woman ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA).

The Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture, originally proposed by the Seminary faculty’s Council on Black Concerns, was established in honor of King’s life as a theologian, minister, and ethicist who had worldwide impact. It is also a response to the Seminary’s commitment to address issues of racial and social justice.

Trustee News

The Seminary’s Board of Trustees has elected three new members, all women: Mrs. Heather Sturt Haaga of La Cañada, California; Ms. Nancy Oliver Gray of Spartanburg, South Carolina; and the Reverend Joanne Martindale of Dayton, New Jersey.

Haaga, an artist, author, and marketing manager, is active with the Huntington Library Arts Council, the Vassar College Development Leadership Council, The Salzburg Seminar in Salzburg, Austria, the Crescenta Cañada YMCA, and the La Cañada Public Schools. She was one of the original thirteen people involved in the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and was its director of fund-raising.

Gray, vice president of Seminary Relations at PTS from July 1998 to June 1999, is now president of Converse College in Spartanburg. She is a member of the First Presbyterian Church there, a trustee of Brevard Music Center, a member of the executive committee of South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, and a trustee of the Wye Faculty Seminar of the Aspen Institute.


Martindale, a 1988 graduate of PTS, was elected by her fellow alumni/ae as the alumni/ae trustee in the board’s Class of 2003, succeeding the Rev. William Carter. She is director of the chaplaincy department at Ancora Psychiatric Hospital in Ancora, New Jersey, the state’s largest psychiatric hospital. She is also the only female chaplain in the New Jersey Army National Guard and is a parish associate pastor at the First Presbyterian Church in Dayton.

In other trustee news, Ginny Thornburgh, director of the Religion and Disability Program of the National Association on Disability in Washington, D.C., was honored by Clarion University in Clarion, Pennsylvania, when they awarded her an honorary Doctor of Public Services degree at spring commencement ceremonies in May.


Recent Graduate Seeks Books for African Seminary

Kossi Ayedze and John O'Brien-PragerKossi Ayedze, who was awarded a Ph.D. at the Seminary’s commencement in May, has received both good and bad news in recent months. The good news: Ayedze was appointed to the faculty of the Institute of Theology at Eglise Evangélique Presby-térienne du Togo in West Africa, and he received a donation from a PTS administrator for the library of the small seminary. The bad news: more than half of the nearly 1000 volumes donated to the institute by Princeton Seminary’s director of professional studies, John O’Brien-Prager (pictured above with Ayedze), were lost en route to Togo.

Ayedze, a native West African, teaches history of Christianity courses at the Institute of Theology in Togo. He contacted O’Brien-Prager several months ago requesting information on how he could obtain resources for the growing African seminary. O’Brien-Prager responded by donating more than 900 volumes, a sizeable portion of his personal library. Unfortunately, only ten of the twenty-six boxes of books arrived in Togo.

"It is very disappointing," said Ayedze of the loss. "The school is very poor, with only a small number of volumes in the library."

Ayedze hopes to use the volumes that did arrive to encourage his students, who are primarily French speakers, to master texts written in English. "I want to push my students to read English so that when they graduate I can send them to PTS!" he said, beaming. He hopes alumni/ae of Princeton Seminary, on learning of the desperate need for books in Togo, will follow O’Brien-Prager’s lead by donating volumes from their personal collections. "This is the most worthy of causes," Ayedze said.

Interested in donating books to the Institute of Theology in Togo, West Africa? Gifts can be sent to:

Eglise Evangélique Presbytérienne du Togo
Attn: Kossi A. Ayedze
B.P. 2
Lomé, Togo (West Africa)


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